The Avenue Coking Works, a flagship site within the National Coalfields Programme, was one of the most contaminated in England. The client needed to regenerate the site for community and economic benefit, creating a positive perception within the community and making the site commercially viable. The project was an opportunity to showcase best practice approaches to reclamation and to stimulate new markets (including export opportunities) for environmental services. The regeneration of the main site is programmed for completion in 2013.

The client required a masterplan that would enhance biodiversity, visual quality, flood storage and social networking, creating a sustainable and locally managed landscape. TEP needed to demonstrate how business and social enterprise could create green and low-maintenance assets.

TEP has been engaged in the regeneration process since 1999, carrying out environmental surveys, liaising with regulators and monitoring pollution levels. TEP also implemented a 75ha newt and snake translocation and tree-felling scheme to prepare the main site for remediation. The scale of this contaminated, derelict site, and the widespread occurrence of protected species, posed significant problems in terms of remediation design and programming. However, accurate surveys, focused advice and innovative mitigation techniques have minimised ecological risks.

The advance habitat creation of the Washlands Reserve, a 16ha area at the south of the site comprising new washlands and meadows, has avoided a 12 to 24 month delay in dealing with protected species. A public consultation, together with the evident quality of the product, built confidence among the local community, regulatory and planning authorities.

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